Frequently Asked Questions
What is Plano Tomorrow?Plano Tomorrow is the city's comprehensive plan. It is a long range guide to the city’s future over the next 20 years and is a key long-range guide for the future growth, priorities, services, development, and redevelopment of our city. It is not binding. It is only a plan, a set of guidelines for the future. The plan is indeed comprehensive. It has 41 policies, 273 action statements, 10 key components and 5 supplementary maps.
Are zoning change requests still required to go before the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council for approval?
Yes. Any future development must still be approved through the Planning & Zoning Commission and ultimately, the City Council. The Commission and Council will consider each prospective development as they have throughout Plano’s history, with objective and careful scrutiny to determine if it is appropriate for Plano. As always, the public is invited to voice their opinions at any Planning & Zoning or City Council meeting regarding any zoning case.
How much new housing is projected with the plan? How much housing do we have today? The plan projects a total population for Plano of 300,000 by 2040. There are no housing estimates within the plan.The Planning Department publishes an annual report each year, which includes projected housing estimates as well as existing housing units. See: Annual Planning Department Report
What is the overall vision of the Plano Tomorrow plan?The plan's vision for Plano is a vibrant city with attractive and walkable neighborhoods, distinct mixed-use urban centers with active nightlife, strong commercial corridors, and a multimodal transportation system that includes a variety of transit options.
All public safety departments were active participants in the plan's development process. Public Safety Department representatives presented information to the Planning & Zoning Commission and were active participants in drafting language. Public Safety and Emergency Management policies and actions can be found within the Quality of Life component of the plan.
How does the plan impact public safety?
How does the plan help ensure quality learning within the city? Education is an important characteristic of the Plano Tomorrow plan and is stated within the plan’s overall vision statement. Two specific policies are provided within the Quality of Life and Regionalism components of the plan that address education. The Plano Tomorrow plan contains 15 action statements related to education, with 8 already in progress. Within these action statements include direction to create facility siting guidelines for locations of future schools within the four school districts that serve the City of Plano. These statements help ensure the city remains a vested partner with the school districts and higher education institutions to continue high quality learning within the city. All notifications for zoning changes are provided to the school districts prior to the public hearings and the districts will provide enrollment and capacity information when a rezoning request is under consideration. The city meets yearly with the school district to review demographic data to help ensure schools have satisfactory capacity to serve Plano’s students. This practice has been highly effective over the last several decades as dozens of schools were built to accommodate new residential development.
How much land is left to develop in Plano?
Plano only has about 6% of its land still available for development. Plano will reserve its remaining undeveloped land for high quality development with distinctive character, emphasizing businesses offering highly skilled employment and limiting housing and retail uses, except when integrated into compact complete centers to ensure adequate land for projected employment growth.
How does the plan treat existing neighborhoods and businesses?
The comprehensive plan's goal is to conserve and enhance established residential neighborhoods. It encourages reinvestment in underperforming commercial sites.
What about housing additions?
The plan provides a variety of quality housing types that serve diverse households. The plan recognizes that variety is very important in planning for the future.
How does Transportation play a role in the plan?
Plano will proactively encourage and incentivize development within walking distance of existing and future rail stations or bus transit centers to create an integrated mix of uses including residential, employment, retail, and civic spaces. Plano will also encourage reinvestment and redevelopment of identified regional transportation corridors to create cohesive developments that incorporate well-designed housing, commercial, and retail opportunities. Plano Tomorrow also recommends to review and update the Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) threshold for new and redevelopment projects.
How were Plano residents engaged in the process of crafting the comprehensive plan?
The plan was comprised, in part by our citizens. It is based on the visions of the community and required a thorough public outreach campaign along with several detailed work sessions with the Plano Tomorrow Advisory Committee. Over the 26 month period, nearly 4,000 individuals provided input that shaped policies and actions through surveys, open houses, and on-site meetings. With thousands of residents and business owners participating, the Plano Tomorrow Public Outreach Campaign has been the most successful initiative of any update to the city’s comprehensive plan.
To promote citizen involvement with the plan, the city sent public survey announcements to 82,000 residents through utility bills and delivered over 5,200 announcements to apartments; made 40,000 calls through a telephone calling service for a telephone town hall meeting; attended several neighborhood meetings including the HOA and Neighborhood Association's Quarterly Breakfast; held "Take the Case" workshops with schools, neighborhoods associations, and the Plano Chamber of Commerce; hosted a booth at the 2013 International Festival and Plano Balloon Festival; ran an announcement in the Dallas Morning News; hosted four open house meetings at libraries across the city; hosted two public hearings with the Planning & Zoning Commission; and had over 25 public work sessions and workshops with the Planning & Zoning Commission, who served as the Advisory Committee. In addition to posting meeting announcements on the project website, an active electronic newsletter is distributed with nearly 1,500 subscribers to provide updates on the process of the plan.
How does the plan preserve Plano’s suburban character?
Plano will accommodate regional population growth in identified areas while preserving the suburban character of our community. The Plano Tomorrow Future Land Use Map identifies 91% of the land in Plano as follows: “Neighborhood” or “Neighborhood Center”, which state single-family uses are the preferred residential land use type (55%), or “Open Space Network”, “Social Network”, “Employment Center”, or “Expressway Corridor”, which state residential uses are generally inappropriate (36%).
How can I stay informed on planning issues and new residential development?
The Planning Department publishes the following:
- Active Zoning Petitions
- Annual Planning Department Report (2019)
- Comprehensive Plan Annual Report (2018)
- Planning & Zoning Process Simplified